New Android malware spreads via SMS and can erase phone data

By Shrey Pacheco | Updated 17 Feb 2016
New Android malware spreads via SMS and can erase phone data
  • The malware, called Mazar, can read texts, make calls, and wipe the whole device and can spread via text messages

Danish security firm, Heimdal, has discovered a new Android malware called Mazar that can spread via text messages. The malware is capable of reading texts, making calls, or even wipe the device. The firm says that Mazar may have infected up to 100,000 handsets in Denmark, although the company isn’t sure if it has infected devices in other countries. 

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Attackers can use Mazar to monitor a user’s texts or make calls to premium numbers. Chief Executive of Heimdal, Morten Kjaesgaard, told the BBC,  “It can do a lot of damage - maybe running up a big phone bill for which the customer would be liable. It's not like when you use your credit card and there's an international standard for banks covering [fraud].”

Heimdal also says that the Mazar cannot be installed on any device that has ‘Russian’ selected as its official language. The firm has tested it on Android Kitkat v4.4, and Kjaesgaard believes that the issue is likely to affect prior versions as well. However, the firm hasn’t tested the malware on newer versions of Android.   

Shrey Pacheco
Writer, gamer, and hater of public transport.
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